The Mary Winspear Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with two events.

The Mary Winspear Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with two events.

Winspear celebrates 10

The Mary Winspear Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with two events.

The Mary Winspear Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with two events.

Join friends and neighbours on Sept. 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for tea and an open house that will honour volunteers who have helped keep the centre humming for a decade. Sidney Mayor Larry Cross and North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall have been invited to speak at the event and tours of the community centre will also be offered.

Put on your dancing shoes for Oct. 22, when the Mary Winspear Centre will host the Swiftsure Band and other entertainment, as well as a silent auction in a gala fundraising event.

The doors open at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of fun, food and fabulous entertainment along with a grand prize draw to cap the evening. Money raised during the event will support the centre and be used to establish an Arts and Music Fund to allow more children to participate in Mary Winspear Centre programs. Tickets for the anniversary celebration are available at the box office or by calling the centre at 250-656-0275.

While the Mary Winspear Centre is celebrating 10 years, its history goes back to 1921 when the North Saanich Women’s Institute and the Sidney Athletic Club began work to establish a 12-acre park, including an athletic field and children’s playground, dedicated to the memory of local residents who lost their lives in the First World War. In 1958, Sanscha Community Hall was built on the land and it served the community for more than 40 years.

A proposal to build a new facility that would include a 300 seat theatre, art gallery, and meeting rooms came forward in 1995. Through a  fundraising campaign that was dubbed Honouring the Past — Building the Future, the redevelopment project was completed. To honour the rich past of the original Sanscha Hall and its volunteers, the new centre was built around the original hall, upgrading it acoustically and seismographically.

In September 2001 the Mary Winspear Community Cultural Centre officially opened its doors to the community that helped build it. The centre and the lands, which include Blue Heron Park, are operated as a public trust by the Memorial Park Society, with the residents of Sidney and North Saanich as the beneficiaries — a testament to the founding and servicing of the lands and centre by the community.